OTTAWA – Despite losing 3-1 in November to the Calgary Flames on Saturday, the Ottawa Senators had a relatively successful month, especially after 16 games in 28 days.
Certainly, the Senators ended the month in a lost four-sided game. The team finished 8-8-0, winning five of their six outings before their recent downfall.
At a time when Ottawa fans are looking for a ray of hope, November has provided some relief.
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Sens’s Anders Nilsson and Craig Anderson’s 20th overall appearance came in at 3.06 goals against average and took 14th place before losing 7-2 to the Minnesota Wild on Friday.
Despite the inconsiderate decision, the team is on pace to reduce its goals by 50 from the previous season – 301 Ottawa goals allowed, 3.65 GAA in 2018-19 was a worse league.
The club’s current .906 combined percentage, in addition to the percentage, brought the team into a 16th balance with the Vancouver Canucks. Instead, the Senators finished with a .897 mark (27th) last season.
Nilsson is currently leading the line with a .917 save percentage. Ultimately, however, after returning seven goals in 35 shots on Friday against Minnesota, the six-foot-six Swedes fell from eighth to 15th in the NHL.
Feelers also got a glimpse into the future on the last night of November, when 25-year-old brother Marcus Hogberg was recalled from the Ottawa AHL’s Belleville and halted 24 of his 26 flames on Saturday. It was filled in for Anderson suffering from head coach D.J. Smith called a “little pinch”.
The veteran goalkeeper travels with the team in the midst of a five-game road trip and will likely return to action before returning home to face the Boston Bruins on December 9.
A nice addition to the Senators this season was their distressed player. Assistant Coach Jack Capuano has brought his experience with a penalty killer that kills 18th in the NHL (82.5%). Before Saturday’s matchup with Calgary, the team actually finished 13th in PK, but the Flames managed to score a goal in three power attempts. Still, with five clubs within 1.5 per cent of each other, the rankings differ on a nightly basis.
The Senators’ PK unit closed in November giving three goals in 30 power opportunities, a 90% success rate.
Connor Brown and Jean-Gabriel Pageau lead all senatorial members in distressed ice time. Brown’s 3:01 average TOI in the scoring unit ranks third among all NHL fronts, with a total of 81:18 topping the front. This serves as an indication, however, that the team must stay out of the box.
Defenseman Ron Hainsey is fourth in frost time – recording 92:24 overall – and is ninth in all d-men, averaging 3:25 minutes while upset.
Pageau, Pageau, Pageau
Jean-Gabriel Pageau had a November to remember in the historical elements of the history of the senators. His 11 goals during the month were the equivalent of Bob Kudelski’s total in 1993. Only Marian Hossa (12 in 2002) and Daniel Alfredsson (13 in 2005) had the highest number of goals in November.
Committed to Bruder Marchand and Bruins ‘Patrick Kane, Pageau’s 11 goals put him behind only Marchand teammate David Pasternak (12) and Oilers’ Connor McDavid (13) for the lead in November.
The 27-year-old came to New Jersey on November 13 when Pageau slapped a 4-2 victory over the Devils. Ottawa’s victory started the team to win five of six games and reached an 8-2 loss to Carolina.
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An outstanding free agent who has not been restricted, Pageau’s remarkable results do not make the decision of Senate General Manager Pierre Dorion easy. Pageau has not only proven to be a reliable center but has the tendency to turn it into a notch in the playoffs. The New York winners saw this first hand in 2017, when the Ottawa resident featured a four-way performance, including the winner of the double overtime game.
The teams are already marking the alternate captain of the Senate and Dorion is likely to be able to get a high draft pick and prospect in a trade. However, Pageau’s leadership abilities and ability to fill a role on both sides of the pen are something a growing club needs.
At the moment, Dorion is in a non-profitable position. A deal can benefit senators in the long run, but it can pull off the rage of some of its fan bases by trading another favorite fan.
As for Celos himself, there is no doubt that he wants to stay in the club. After spending most of his life in the city or on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, he said so in a Q&A with Sporting News before the season.
“I’m an Ottawa Senator. That’s where my career began. This is the team that has shown confidence in me. I’m happy to be here. I like to represent the Senators. August. “Ottawa is close to the people I love, my wife, my family, my friends. I’ve got to meet so many people over the years. Like I said I’m happy here. My main focus is not the contract. It’s really the team – how to approach and start this year on the right track. “